“I see you have a new toy”, said my landlord. He was referring to my hard shell hyperbaric chamber.

“What does it do?”

As I started to explain the nuances of hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy (HBOT), I could see his eyes glazing over. He made some excuse about having to be somewhere and scuttled away.

I made a mental note to spice up my explanation repertoire.

I went through in my mind again, why I had forsaken the electric car and overseas trip to upgrade my collapsible chamber for my new hard-shell friend. The research was compelling.

When I did my post grad work in cancer, I had the privilege of connecting with some of the best cancer clinics in the world. It was a complete mystery to me why NZ, that has the highest rate of women’s bowel cancer and now breast cancer, offers the poorest selection of therapies, both alternate and conventional.   I made a commitment to change that and Mr HBOT was part of that commitment. I hasten to add that HBOT is not just about cancer. It is just where I started to learn about it.

While observing at the overseas clinics, I would watch the clients coming in daily for their HBOT treatment. They would stay in the machine for an hour or more. Some of them meditated, some slept, while others read. I questioned the clients about their experiences and success rates. The results were impressive.

One of the clients was a medical doctor who was diagnosed with grade 4 cancer. She had followed the medical route, until they had given up on her and sent her home to die. She had flown a considerable distance and had been living in a motel for several months while she received treatments. Her cancer markers were improving and she attributed it to a combination of treatments, but mainly the HBOT.

Another client, who did not have cancer, but who had suffered a stroke was also attending the clinic. He was receiving HBOT therapy, PEMF therapy and LLLT therapy. He had regained the use of his arm and leg and his mental cognition had improved significantly, as measured by their measuring device. This device measured various facets of brain functionality. Incidentally, I just had to get one of those too.

So, what is HBOT about. You may have heard about the use of HBOT for divers who have surfaced too quickly. Well there is a lot more to it than that. Think for a moment how important oxygen is. If you doubt it, try holding your breath. Let me know if you get past the 5-minute mark as I would love you to join my water ballet team. Nah, only joking, I am more a Mayfair pole sort of guy.

On a more serious note, we breathe to get oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out. The oxygen is carried around the body by something called haemoglobin. It’s like a piggy-back affair. The problem is that haemoglobin is a bit of a fatty and can only fit through about 10% of your capillaries. That means that they cannot carry oxygen through 90% of your capillaries. Just to put things in perspective, each pound of fat has about 250 miles of capillaries. Ta Ra! Enter the hyperbaric chamber, to fully oxygenate the body. A good question to ask around about now is how come our ancestors managed without this additional oxygen. Well, they did not have to deal with the 130 million chemicals we have inflicted on the human body, not to mention the heavy metals, herbicides, insecticides, junk food, rubbish water and so much more.

When we lack oxygen, bad stuff happens. Oxygen heals. This may be why top sportspeople use HBOT to heal quicker and perform better. It may be why stroke victims use HBOT to stimulate neuron regenerations. It may be why cancer sufferers use it, because cancer grows in an anaerobic environment (fancy word for without oxygen).

As a side note, some years ago I had a fierce argument with one of my professors about whether brain cells could regenerate. He was adamant that they could not based on his medical studies. I was adamant that they could, based on the fact that the human body has been designing itself for 5 million years. It could not have missed this fundamental step. Turns out I was right and he was wrong. To be fair, he was a lot smarter than I was. He was just shackled with blinkers, put there by his study and reinforced by his peers.

My passion is around cancer, stroke, injury and trauma, but HBOT has an impressive track record with severe anaemia, wound healing, burns, acute traumatic ischemia (loss of blood flow to organs), smoke inhalation, Alzheimer’s disease, anti-aging, autism, asthma, brain injury, cerebral palsy, depression, heart disease, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, spinal cord injury, sports injury, with new research and findings always on the way.

So here we are, another step closer to the dream of providing the same services that the very best international clinics can.

I am still really keen on getting that Harley, but that may have to wait. The most amazing research coming out Russia has produced something that can reconfigure the brain. I may have to have one: my next toy.